This dessert channels South East Asia’s bubble drinks. Cucumber isn’t a typical dessert ingredient, but the juice is refreshing and cleansing and the jelly and tapioca pearls add texture.
- 100 gm tapioca pearls, soaked in cold water for 5 minutes, drained, rinsed under cold running water (see note) (½ cup)
- 185 gm dark palm sugar, finely chopped
- 50 ml strong-brewed jasmine tea
- 200 ml coconut cream
Star anise ice-cream
- 450 ml pouring cream
- 375 ml milk (1½ cups)
- 5 star anise
- 6 egg yolks
- 150 gm caster sugar
Lychee and ginger sorbet
- 380 gm lychee flesh
- 200 ml sugar syrup
- 2 tbsp finely grated fresh ginger
Cucumber and coriander jelly
- 500 gm Lebanese cucumbers (about 4)
- ½ cup (firmly packed) coriander
- 2 titanium-strength gelatine leaves, softened in cold water for 5 minutes
- 1½ tbsp caster sugar
- 1For star anise ice-cream, bring cream, milk and star anise to the boil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Whisk egg yolks and sugar in a bowl until thick and pale. Pour in cream mixture, whisk to combine, return mixture to pan and stir over low-medium heat until mixture thickly coats the back of a spoon (5-6 minutes). Strain through a fine sieve into a bowl, refrigerate until chilled, then freeze in an ice-cream machine until required. Makes about 1 litre.
- 2For lychee and ginger sorbet, purée ingredients in a blender until smooth and freeze in an ice-cream machine until required. Makes about 750ml.
- 3For cucumber and coriander jelly, juice cucumber and coriander in an electric juicer to yield 850ml juice (see note), skim scum from surface and transfer 200ml (reserve remainder) to a small saucepan and warm over medium heat. Squeeze gelatine to remove excess water then add to pan with sugar, stir to dissolve, transfer to a container, add remaining juice, stir to combine and refrigerate until set (4-5 hours).
- 4Cook tapioca in a saucepan of boiling water, stirring occasionally, until translucent (10-15 minutes). Drain, rinse under cold running water, transfer to a bowl and refrigerate until chilled. Meanwhile, stir palm sugar and jasmine tea in a saucepan over low heat until sugar dissolves, simmer until slightly thickened (8-10 minutes), then set aside to cool to room temperature. Add tapioca, stir to combine and refrigerate until required.
- 5Divide tapioca mixture among chilled glasses, pour coconut cream over, top with cucumber and coriander jelly and scoops of lychee and ginger sorbet and star anise ice-cream, scatter with toasted shredded coconut and serve immediately.
Tapioca pearls are available from Asian grocers. If you don’t have a juicer, purée the cucumber and coriander in a blender then pass it through a fine sieve.
This recipe is from the February 2013 issue of